Child Care

Every little New Yorker should be supported by an affordable, safe, and culturally responsive universal child care system. Yet parents are consistently unable to access care, which can force them out of the workplace, and child care workers are still among the lowest-paid workers.

Through our polling and research, we provide information and recommendations on how state and local leaders can address the child care crisis in New York and create an equitable system based on a universal, transparent quality rating and improvement system and a justly compensated workforce.

The True Cost of Child Care

Recent efforts at the community, state, and federal levels have examined and addressed some of the fiscal issues related to the prenatal-to-five system, and New York has made some of the fundamental first steps to improving access to child care for all families.

A new cost model tool, developed by Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies (P5FS) in partnership with The Education Trust–New York and the Raising NY coalition, is an opportunity to build on these efforts. The tool projects how much it would cost New York State to provide access to high-quality child care for all children under five by looking at various scenarios.

Poll: Parents’ challenges in accessing high-quality child care

“By the numbers: Nearly half (49%) of all parents said their child care situation is not very workable.”

*Source: October 2022 Raising NY poll

Our October 2022 poll finds that New York State parents of young children found that across all racial groups, parents of young children have encountered challenges accessing child care. Among other key findings, the poll also found that while parents overall are satisfied with their child care program, their experiences with some areas of the system can vary widely across racial lines.

Report: Living in a child care desert

Families’ stories from the South Bronx — a child care desert where programs are scarce and residents face considerable barriers to meeting their families’ needs due to decades of structural racism and economic inequities — help to color in a picture that has become all too common.
“My wife wants to get back to the workforce, but if she goes back then she’s just working to pay for child care.

Report: New York’s Capacity Crisis

There is a major child care capacity problem in New York State — seven out of 10 child care centers and half of family child care providers are at maximum capacity for infants, and most have a waitlist. And many providers are running on a deficit and have difficulty offering competitive wages and benefits.

From 2011 to 2017, only the top 20% wealthiest communities in New York saw an increase in infant/toddler capacity. All other communities lost capacity.

Report: New York’s Infant and Toddler Workforce

We have real opportunities to transform New York’s struggling child care system to better support our early child care workforce. This report explores the state of the child care workforce in New York and includes a series of recommendations that the state and federal government, and institutions of higher education can implement to expand investment in the early childhood workforce.

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